It’s the Time of Year to Buy Hay

Our haying equipment is out in the fields in full force. Plan to have enough hay on hand to feed your animals when pasture is unavailable, including periods when it’s too wet to graze or an unforeseen dry spell in late summer.

Two-String Bundles

We produce 14-bale bundles of premium, clean, fertilized Jiggs bermudagrass two-string square bales. Our small square bales weigh approximately 55 lbs.

Large Round Bales

We offer limited quantities of net wrapped 4×5 round bales. Call us for availability.

Our Location


Sherrill Farms is located 65 miles southwest of Houston. Drive southwest on I-59 S, exit at Wharton, and head south on FM 1301 for 16 miles until you reach Pledger.

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Call us to check on inventory and make an appointment to load out of the barn.

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Inventory Status

Both two-string squares and 4-foot rounds are in stock. Spring rains caused us to have all three grades of hay available, so if you have some not-so-picky eaters let us know!

Great for horses and lactating cows
9-13% Crude Protein
Great for bulls, steers and open cows
5-9% Crude Protein
3-grade (utility hay)Under 5% Crude Protein
USDA Hay Quality Designation Guidelines

How much is enough?

To support an animal at maintenance requires 2.5 to 3% dry matter intake. For example, you could expect a 1,000 lb horse or cow to eat about 25 to 30 pounds of feed per day. Sheep and goats that weigh about 150 lb will require 4-5.5 lbs of feed per day.

Animals will consume good quality feed more readily than poor quality feed. You’ll need to adjust the amount of hay to buy to account for waste of poor quality hay.

Working, lactating and growing animals have increased feed requirements. It is advisable to purchase up to 25% extra hay to account for waste, increased feed requirements, or a late spring. Extra hay could be resold later if it is not needed.

Nutrition Notes

Beef Cattle

Nutrient requirements of cattle change throughout the year based
upon stage of the production cycle, age, sex, breed, level of activity, pest load, and environment.

A cow’s energy requirements depend on her stage of production; growth, the lactation period and the dry period.

About a 20% difference in energy provided by feed exists between the lactation period and the dry period. Additionally, the initial energy requirement does not account for any energy expenditure for activity associated with grazing. The difference in maintenance energy requirements for grazing cattle could be from 10 to 50% depending
upon the grazing conditions and forage availability.


Total digestible nutrients (TDN) and Crude Protein (CP) requirements change throughout the year. The requirement for protein is dependent upon the age of the cow, stage of
production, and level of production.

The general rule of thumb is that forages with a CP concentration of 7% or greater are adequate to meet a mature cow’s CP requirements.

The folks at Noble.org came up with a terrific, easy-to-understand chart mapping a cow’s nutrient needs throughout the production year:

Image by Deke Alkire, Ph.D. and Bryan Nichols from their article “Supplementing and Stretching Forage Resources” via Noble.org

Stretching Your Hay Supply

In a year where resources have been limited due to drought or other weather events, ranchers do everything they can to stretch their feed resources.

Test your forage

Take a sample of the pasture grass and the hay you purchase. That way you’ll know how much of the herd’s dietary needs you need to supplement (if any).

Make a Plan

How many cows can you support over the winter (hay/standing forage supply and money supply)?

Feed the low quality stuff first

Your cattle will need more nutrients later in the production year. Feed the low quality forage first.

Stretch your feed

Some help from Oklahoma’s Noble Research Institute:

  • Reduce access to hay. Reducing access to hay for six hours per day reduces intake 22 percent. It also reduces waste from 7.7 percent to 0.8 percent while maintaining cow body weight. This strategy requires good quality hay (>9 percent CP, >55 percent TDN) to be successful.
  • Provide a Feed Supplement. Soyhulls, cottonseed hulls, peanut hulls, corn gluten feed, wheat midds, barley malt sprouts and dried distillers’ grains can help to stretch your forage supply. Concentrate feeds such as corn, wheat, oats and milo are also options, but should be used with caution; they can cause digestive problems and metabolic disorders if fed in excess.


Fifty percent to 100 percent of equine nutrients can be supplied by hay.

Depending on the use or the classification of the horse, 50 percent to 100 percent of equine nutrients can be supplied by hay. Horse rations are usually calculated on the basic fact that they will eat only about 2.5 percent of their body weight everyday in dry matter. This depends on the forage quality fed. Mature forages with high NDF values limit intake and require that more nutrients be provided in the form of concentrate supplements.

There are five nutritional classifications of horses.


This class of horse is mature, is maintaining its body weight, and is not pregnant, lactating, breeding nor being exercised. This class of horse can often meet all of its requirements with forage. Minimum requirements are 10 percent Crude Protein, .3 percent Calcium, .2 percent Phosphorus, and 1 Mcal of Digestible Energy per pound of the total ration.


The level of exercise or work the horse is doing determines the amount of nutrients needed. Energy is the fuel for work, and as the intensity or duration of the work increases from light to moderate to intense, the requirement for energy increases 25 percent, 50 percent and 100 percent above maintenance, respectively. Minimum requirements for a mature horse doing moderate work are 11 percent Crude Protein, .35 percent Calcium, .25 percent Phosphorus, and 1.2 Mcal of Digestible Energy/lb. of total ration.


The nutritional requirements during the first eight months of pregnancy are the same as for a mare being maintained. During the ninth, tenth, and eleventh months of pregnancy, the energy requirements increase 11 percent, 13 percent, and 20 percent respectively. Minimum requirements in the last month of pregnancy are 11 percent Crude Protein, .5 percent Calcium, .4 percent Phosphorus, and 1.1 Mcal of Digestible Energy per pound of the total ration.


During the first three months after foaling, mares can produce milk equivalent to 3 percent of their body weight per day and 2 percent per day during months four to six. The requirements for energy are about 80 percent above maintenance for the first three months and 50 percent above maintenance for the next three months of lactation. Minimum requirements during the first three months of lactation are 14 percent Crude Protein, .6 percent Calcium, .4 percent Phosphorus, and 1.2 Mcal of Digestible Energy/lb. of total ration.


Growing foals require feeds of higher quality than what mature horses require. The age of the foal and the average daily gain determine the requirements. Horses are still growing past 24 months of age, and longer in the slower maturing breeds. The optimum growth rate has not been established, but overfeeding can cause developmental orthopedic diseases and underfeeding can cause permanent stunting. Minimum requirements for a six month old, moderately growing foal are 15 percent Crude Protein, .7 percent Calcium, .4 percent Phosphorus, and 1.4 Mcal of Digestible Energy/lb. in the total ration. These decrease as the foal ages and the rate of gain decreases.

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